July 9, 2011

on a new adventure...

I currently only have one week left at my job. One week. One week. It's hard to even comprehend, to be honest. Have I done everything possible to prepare for this? Have I passed along all the information that is needed? Have I weighed all the pros and cons accurately? Am I ready for this?

Although I haven't told many people up until this point, the big news is that I'm quitting my job and will be a stay-at-home-mom from here on out (or, more accurately, as long as it makes sense for us to do so while not also having to live in a cardboard box by the freeway).

Yes, you heard me right. Yes, I'm aware that we live in Southern California and my husband does not have the income of a plastic surgeon or cast member on Glee. Yes, I know it's going to be a stretch, a challenge, a little reckless. But the truth is that I have this incredible sense of peace about the whole thing. I'm not really that worried. Which tells me the right decision has been made. I keep thinking of how this has always been my hope and my dream—to stay at home and raise our children once they came along. Granted, I never thought I'd be living in a place where it's almost unheard of to be living off of one income. But, still.

After we found out we were expecting the wee one, I had this panicked thought of, "Oh, my gosh. How are we going to afford this? How am I going to work? How are we going to find a daycare that doesn't end up taking most of the money I make? How am I going to be able to leave this child who I know nothing about, yet already love to bits and pieces?" Even though my expectation had always been to stay home after having a child, our current place in life made me feel that it was simply a pipe dream and I had to grow up and see the reality of things. I couldn't have it all, you know.

I specifically remember one day when I was talking with a coworker about maternity leave and when I'd be expected to come back. Even at that point, I had to choke back tears after even thinking about leaving my three-month-old baby with someone else. My heart was already breaking at the mere thought of returning to work. And I hadn't even felt the baby kick yet.

After that day, I decided to really start thinking about it realistically. Realizing just how much money Jay and I have saved up in the past five years of marriage—knowing that we have a nest egg that will assist in sustaining us if we need it to. Understanding that it would most definitely take some sacrificing, but being that we're not over-spenders anyway, it may not be as much of a stretch as I'd thought. Contemplating the possibility of investing all I can in my creative endeavors and see what income I can add with those. Remembering the times my parents and in-laws have talked about how they didn't have much money when they started their families, but that it didn't seem to matter—they were still fulfilled, happy, somehow managed to have everything that they needed.

And, you know what? That's what I want. Simplicity. Happiness. A focus on the things that truly matter in life. A heart that is filled with peace, knowing that any sacrifice Jay and I have to make is for the good of our family, our future, our daughter.

I've assured Jay that I'm not going to be sitting on my bum eating fudge bars and watching The View all day. (I like to think that he was already aware of this, but I felt the need to remind him, just in case.) The fact of the matter is that I'm going to take this opportunity to not only dive into the wild and wonderful first months of motherhood, but to also pursue all the creative things I simply haven't had time to do with my full-time job taking up all my time. I have so many goals and will finally be able to find the time in which to really succeed (baby on my hip or not). I want to build my etsy shop, sell in local boutiques, set up adorable booths at local craft fairs, challenge myself to create new and original items, improve my photography, create a portfolio, write a book, design an online magazine, freelance a bit, and more.

I know. I'm getting ahead of myself.

There's no way this is going to happen one or two months (or maybe even six months) from now. However, I have no doubt that once our tiny family develops more of a routine, there will be much more time to invest in all of these things. And I'm rather excited about it. Excited and thankful that my husband and I are at a place in life where we can make this happen for a while, at least. It makes all the sacrifices we're made thus far (saving as opposed to spending, not purchasing a home, taking all the hand-me-downs we can get, being smart with the purchases we do make, taking time to invest and know where our money is going) seem very, very worth it.

So, here's to full-time mommyhood, creativity and a few too many spaghetti dinners. Here's to living life with a full heart and a slightly less-full wallet. Here's to many new discoveries, lessons learned and living as simply as possible.

Here's to a new adventure.

45 comments :

  1. How exciting! Cheers to new adventures. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, Kerri, this is wonderful news! I mean, really, if it's possible in any way, make it happen!
    My sister just went back to work (after 1 year, mind you!) and although she loves her job (she teaches elementary school) and is only gone half days (the rest of the work is done at home), she hates not being able to stay home with her two kids.

    I am excited for you and your new possibilities!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sigh. I have to admit that I'm envious of you and others that can make this happen. We even live in Texas where the cost of living is low, and yet we can't even find a way for me to work part-time. My job provides a huge amount of our income, and with a mortgage, two car payments, and student loans - there's just no way. Sometimes I wish I could go back and make different decisions so that we wouldn't have those debts and would have some money saved up, but I can't. So I just have to trust that this will work for us, that the daycare we chose will be good for my daughter, that my job is a ministry and a calling that it's not time for me to move on from yet. I do believe those things, but it's still hard.

    ReplyDelete
  4. SO happy and thrilled for you! I can't even imagine having to work while having a sweet baby at home, but I know I will eventually have to do so. I am just thankful that my future career (nursing) will allow me to be part-time and probably even just a few times a month, eventually.

    Yay for baby wishcake!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey, congratulations and good luck! If you're at peace, that's what counts. That is most definitely a sign. That's how I felt when I made a similar decision (although no baby is involved) at the beginning of this year. To sacrifice the pursuit of security for the pursuit of something more important to me: happiness.

    5 months later, I can tell you this: it is SO much harder than I expected. To worry about every bill, to panic at every unexpected expense. To check the menu for the cheap entrees. To ignore the doubtful but well-meaning questions of your friends. So. Much. Harder.

    I say that not to discourage, but to prepare. Because at the end of the day, it's totally worth it. To know that I'm giving this my all. To know that I believe in myself this fully. To love waking up every morning.

    So again, congratulations and good luck. I can't wait to see how things progress for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. So happy for you! I stay home with my son, and it's the same for me - as you said - what I've always wanted to do. Raising a child is the most rewarding job one can have (in my opinion!). One income is challenging, but it can work. Thank you for sharing your news. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations! That is awesome. You'll have to share your budgeting/frugal living tips when the time comes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If anyone can do this Kerri, it's you. I have a feeling that God willing, I might not be too far behind you ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I want to give you a big hug!! I am excited for you and your new adventure in mommyhood. I stay home with all 3 boys and I wouldn't change any of it for anything.

    ReplyDelete
  10. YAY for you! One of my bffs lives in RSM and stays home with their 2 little gems! It'll be so worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad you get to do this. You'll make it work!

    http://sparklescribbles.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations! I thin that if you feel this is the right decision you have to go for it. You will see your little one growing up day after day, maybe you will have to economize on some parts of your life, but it will be worth it, right?
    Have a great last week at work and enjoy your choice!
    Juliette

    ReplyDelete
  13. You will NEVER regret your decision. I also decided to stay at home and while I love my career and miss it occasionally seeing my baby wake up sleepy-eyed from every.single.nap is SOOOO worth it. We rent, we plan meals 2 weeks in advance, I try to coupon, we actually even manage to save money on my husbands very small salary. You will spend your moments breathing in your delicious baby and trust me, I've never spent a day on the couch eating bon bons! Being a SAH mama is work - hard work. Wonderful work. Congrats on your decision!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, what great news for you! I am excited to read about this journey!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm so happy for you and Jay and excited to see where this next part of the journey takes you. Also, can I just say that I'm LOVING that you're blogging more? It makes my heart happy. Much love, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yay! That's so exciting! Congrats! You will do great and definitely have success in anything you set your mind to.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Found your blog recently and love it, we have so much in common it's scary! Congrats on your decision to be a stay at home mama, it is truly so wonderful! I am home too and although I am crazy busy with the little ones, I find time to run my business/etsy shop and love the creative outlet and extra income it provides. So you can do both! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations on your decision! Last week was my first as a SAHM - it was a tough decision to come to, but the best for our family. My hopes are to use my creative juices as well to come up with something on the side - but having time with our son has been the best thing I could have ever asked for. Best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wandered here from the BBC August board. I'm in the exact same position, with this coming Friday being my last day. My daughter is almost three, and I'm 33 weeks. I'm super excited to make our lifestyle fit our needs, and to finally stay home with my little ones.

    I also intend to write a book, focus on my photography, and freelance! All between diapering, feeding, playing, and enjoying my little ones. Good luck to you, and enjoy this final week!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations!
    Even though we don't have kids (not even one in the oven, or fridge, or microwave) this is something we talk. about Living in CA makes us think about preparing for me quitting my job (eventually) but starting now.
    Enjoy it and we can't wait to see how your creativity comes out!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think this is wonderful and I'm so proud of you, Kerri! I agree, leaving a baby with a stranger no matter how much you like him or her would be so hard. I don't think I could if we had a baby. Neither Jen nor I currently work, we're both filing for disability. In the future, we're looking for a job we can do together, as we love working together and preferably something we can do at home or at a job we can live at (such as self storage, etc.)

    So if we ever do have a little one, we could be with him or her all day long. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congrats, that's so exciting for you and your little family!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yay! I'm so happy that you can do this. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  24. i stay home with our boys and though we often seem to live hand to mouth, we wouldn't have it any other way. children are precious and it is worth every tiny sacrifice to spend that time with them. you have the rest of your life to live comfortably...

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. YES!!! A very good decision!! I love big decisions to live out your dreams!

    I just quit my job in May to move across the US. Not knowing where my fiance and I were going to end up, we sold everything and packed our car with the remainders and ended up in a cute town in Montana.

    I am so happy I am now able to focus on the things I want to be doing (my crafts, our home, etc.). Even though I know I won't be able to do this forever.....I love it!

    Congrats to you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You are so wonderful. So inspiring :) Congrats, you'll do great!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've loved every second of being home with Hannah--growing up, I never thought I would be content being at home with babies, but now that I am, I am so very grateful. I love catching all of her babbles, marveling at even the most minute of changes, and being the one she knows adores her most in the universe. I know I would adore her just as much while working an office job, and I would relish all the same moments, but these have truly been the best six months of my life. I'm so happy for you that you'll have the same!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my gosh. I just love this post. I think it's wonderful that you are going to be a stay at home mum. You will be able to work on all the things you have wanted too and still be a mother. I seriously can't wait to see how this all works out for you. I think your creative business will be awesome and you can do so well with it. x

    ReplyDelete
  30. i loved this post! when i quit my job last year before our little guy was born it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. you will love staying at home with your little one! sometimes it is lonely or may seem a little repetitious but it is so worth it :) enjoy your last week of work!

    blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am so thrilled for you Kerri! I can tell how excited it makes you just by reading your words, i love that! Staying at home with your sweet baby is worth every second of sacrifice...I'm STILL on the fence about whether or not to go back to work full time or just part time after our little girl gets here but the more I think back on how precious those moments with my boys were when they were wee babes I think the answer is part-time. It's just such a much harder decision now that my boys go to private school and my sacrifice more directly concerns them and become their sacrifices as well (& they are not afraid to voice their opinions about them! ha) I know that I'm blessed having an employer who so values family and is willing to work with me...and I know God has a plan for us and will guide me as to which direction is right for our family. It's just a hard thing making these huge decisions you know? :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm also a SAHM in SoCal and it gets pretty tight around here, but it is SO worth it! Here's my advice:
    -Check into WIC
    -MEAL PLAN, meal plan, meal plan! It will help you save money and actually EAT the food you buy.
    -Thrifting. Fun AND, well, thrifty!
    -Do all of that fun craftiness as much as you can while your baby is a newborn. The older they get, the less they sleep and the more attention they require (which is awesome- don't get me wrong).
    -Enjoy every second. And I'm sure you will.

    ReplyDelete
  33. PS- I actually live in Downey and have a Playgroup going so if you need some mom-friends I know you would fit RIGHT in!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Such a beautiful post! When you said "It makes all the sacrifices we're made thus far (saving as opposed to spending, not purchasing a home, taking all the hand-me-downs we can get, being smart with the purchases we do make, taking time to invest and know where our money is going) seem very, very worth it" it made me tear up a bit.

    My husband and I have been married for almost 3 years now and are hoping to have a child soon. Before we got married, I shared my dream of staying at home with our children and he agreed. For the past 3 years we have been living frugally and saving every penny to make that dream a reality (hopefully) someday.

    So happy for you both! I think it's one of the best sacrifices you can make.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You are going to love being a stay-at-home Mom!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. So so so excited for you! You're going to rock this. For realz.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Congratulations, you. I definitely think that this is the right choice for you, Jay, and Eisley. I know this is going to make you so happy that it will be worth all the difficulty. Of course, I will always support all your creative endeavors, not only because I love you, but because of your talent. Best of luck! See you Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I worried I would HATE being a SAHM, but I love it. It's been such a huge blessing in my life to be able to be here every day with my little daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I admire you for your decision to become a stay-at-home-mom. I could never do it - mostly because I was brought up in a mom where both parents worked. Also, simple living is the best. Sometimes I just want to go back to the 50s without the internet and technology.

    ReplyDelete
  40. i think this sounds pretty much like a dream come true. being able to have more time for your creativity and of course to spend with your baby-girl. love! it does sound like the right decision and if one year down the line (which is how long the mom usually stays home with the baby here in germany) you feel like you're ready (and your daughter is) you can still look for a part-time-position or something... this sounds like a great adventure and i envy you for the chance to go for it! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  41. What wonderful news!!! I am thrilled that you and Jay are able to do this for yourselves and for your sweet baby Eisley! Dan and I are trying to figure this part out right now. Like you, I want to cry thinking about leaving my babe with strangers all day. So we're going over options... do I work part-time? Work from home? Focus on my crafts? I have every confidence that you and Jay will not only make it work, you will thrive and succeed :) You may have to cut back on some things, but honestly- what sounds better than being there to watch your child learn and grow AND exploring your creative outlets? Not much, my friend :) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yay, Kerrie! Maybe when the wee ones start school, you can write books. You should! You already have a fan base! Yoo hoooo, publisher people!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm so thrilled for you! Hope you're having a wonderful day "on the first day of your new life"! Can't wait to read more about your new adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yay you! I'm so happy for the two of you!

    ReplyDelete

Thoughts? Questions? General musings? Do share!

If you are asking a question, I will respond here within the comments—so, be sure to click that handy little "notify me" box below to know when I've replied!